4x4th Estate: Best Trilogies


Because sometimes, one book just isn’t enough to tell the tale.

Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien 


The ultimate fantasy trilogy, Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings chock-full with Orcs, Hobbits, Elves and Dwarves not only perfectly paints a world where trees talk and clunky, unfashionable jewellery has the power to destroy mankind, but also vividly depicts the war between the forces of good and evil within ourselves. The epic trilogy follows the tale of two hobbits destroying the ‘one ring’ in the fires of Mount Doom in an attempt to thwart evil whilst their pals from the Fellowship buy them time by the blades of their swords. In The Fellowship of the Ring, The Twin Towers and The Return of the King, Tolkien creates an all-encompassing Middle Earth complete with a plethora of languages (for the die-hards amongst us) and lovable characters are brought to life by his ability to capture the essence of humanity in his work. I doubt many would contest the Lord of the Rings’ place on the best fantasy trilogy list, and those that would just haven’t felt the power of the one true ring yet… My precious.

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman


The Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass charter the coming of age of Lyra Belacqua and Will Parry with charm and the help of talking polar bears. Phillip Pullman’s trilogy was a worldwide bestseller – and for good reason. His unflinching approach to critique of organised religion paired with his unrelenting imagination created a world where human souls walk in the form of Daemons, the fabric of time and space can be cut with a knife, and witches and scientists work together to stop a mad man from killing God. Brilliantly creative and original, His Dark Materials can claim its spot as one of the best fantasy trilogies with ease.

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke


This is a fantasy that truly brings alive the world of literature, following the incredible journey of Mo, a Silvertongue, and his family who get tangled up in a book, quite literally, and Dustfinger who gets read out of one. Funke creates a million different worlds, breathing them to life with the fluidity of her language and the vivacity of her imagery. Her endearing characters and their relationships with each other bring an element of the norm to the fantasy book whilst the bargaining with Death, the book of immortality and the nymphs keep the magic alive.

The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer


For thirty years, Area X, monitored by the secret agency known as the Southern Reach, has remained mysterious and remote behind its intangible border– an environmental disaster zone, though to all appearances an abundant wilderness. Eleven expeditions have been sent in to investigate; even for those that have made it out alive, there have been terrible consequences. Will the twelfth be any different? In Annihilation, Authority and Acceptance VanderMeer crafts a dangerous world of mystery than you can’t help but get wrapped up in. With a Poe-esque sense of anticipation and horror this fantasy will have you questioning everything and VanderMeer’s master-full weaving of suspense will have you turning pages.


Words by Simran Sandhu

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